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Colorado may be landlocked, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a little water-focused fun this summer. Whether you are looking for kid-friendly splashing or all-day adventure, here are five ways to cool off, take a dip, or soak. And please: remember your sunscreen.
1. Water World
Give One Year of 5280 for just $16.
The country’s biggest water park is right up the street. Celebrating its 35th season, Water World boasts 49 attractions and more than 12,000 feet of water slides. For thrill seekers, let the “Prank Tank” whirl you around or hop on the “Mile High Flyer” hydro-magnetic water coaster. For little ones, the “Lazy River” or the “Silly Shores” are good bets. If you are looking to lounge, try one of the poolside cabanas.
When: Daily, Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend, weather permitting, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Where: 8801 N. Pecos St., Federal Heights
Price: $35.99 kids, $40.99 adults
2. City Pools
In the summer, Denver Parks and Recreation opens 16 outdoor pools across the metro area for aqua-fitness, swim lessons, cannonball competitions (well, informal ones), and much more.
When: June 9 to August 17, hours vary
Where: Check the Parks and Rec website for locations.
Price: $1 kids, $3.50 adults for a day. Summer-long passes are available; lessons and classes have additional fees.
3. Cherry Creek Reservoir
Sail, boat, water ski, fish, or swim in Cherry Creek Reservoir. Hit up the Cherry Creek Marina or the Ski Shak for boat and Jet Ski rentals and lessons, or wander over to the sandy beach area for swimming. Whatever your choice, the 880-acre watering hole will help you forget the heat.
When: Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend
Where: 4201 South Parker Rd., Aurora
Price: $9 daily admission to the park, rentals and lessons have additional fees.
4. Float the South Platte River
The South Platte River offers the only urban whitewater rafting in the state. You can put in as far south as Chatfield Reservoir and get out as far north as Globeville. Float past landmarks like Sports Authority Field at Mile High and Elitch Garden. Rapids are typically mild, but if water levels rise, be cautious.
When: Daily, weather and water levels permitting.
Where: Chatfield Reservoir to Globeville
5. Drenched 5k
The “coolest” race of the summer is back. The Drenched 5k will once again send runners through an obstacle course of fire hoses, sprinklers, and water guns as they wind through City Park (think: a 75-foot slip ‘n’ slide at the end that carries you to the finish line). If that isn’t wet enough for you, stick around for the afteparty and water balloon fight.
When: August 3, 2014
Where: City Park
—Image courtesy of Water World